So it arrived! All the way from Kharkiv, Ukraine. Removing the old Vixen motors and replacing them with the EQStar ones was a doddle. The RA motor makes a surprisingly loud (compared to the Vixen motors) whirring noise when you switch the unit on, but apparently its meant to do that once it is switched on as it is in hour mode (based on Alexander's feedback). Does yours make that similar sound Don? (Once it starts tracking its much quieter).
The trickiest thing for me was getting the software set up so that the mount is recognised and controlled. I think what complicated it was that I'm on OSX and also my CD-ROM doesn't take the mini-CD the kit ships with.
So there were a few emails to clarify a few things with Alexander. His response was always v prompt and helpful, including sending hyperlinks for some downloads as I couldn't use the CD-ROM. In the end all I had to do was install a couple of drivers (didn't even need to use EQStar's setup file on the CD-ROM).
I'm using KStars with Ekos, and - once I figured out which mount type to select on that (choose "Skywatcher" and then "EQMod") - the laptop-based control works (you might need to go the options tab to select which port to use, unless you've got auto-search of ports activated). One quirk was that I had to change the USB port in my laptop that I plugged the connection into (the first one didn't seem to be recognised, but the second one did) - that may be a laptop issue? One slight design flaw is that the attachment that the USB jack is housed in is quite broad, so it renders the next USB port in the laptop unuseable (I'll eventually have to get a USB hub since things like the camera etc will need to be connected ).
I've only used it indoors so far (not great conditions outside) - setting in target co-ordinates makes the mount slew pretty quickly. It is noisier than the Vixen motors while slewing - but then there's no way they'd slew that fast. Gets quieter when tracking (but still not as quiet as the Vixen ones).
I'm still coming up the curve on KStars & Ekos. But I did try and select one of the pre-loaded celestial objects (just as hypothetical) and the mount did start to move. I will next need to figure out how to polar align it in a way that doesn't require sight of Polaris.
So far, I'm feeling optimistic about the kit. If only it could be a bit quieter on the motors though (and not crowd out the next USB port as well). Throughout this, I have to say that the company & Alexander's responsiveness has been excellent - truly v helpful. Next steps (once I've figured out non-Polaris polar alignment techniques on KStars/Ekos) will be the real-life test of setting a destination & then tracking it to see accuracy of finding & tracking. Will report back!
Edited by vineyard, 31 October 2019 - 05:25 PM.